The 2017 NBA Draft is barely over, and we’re already seeing a slew of fresh 2018 mock drafts flying in from all corners of the internet. These should be taken with a spoonful of salt because team needs - and where they pick - will change several times over the next year.
However, the names within the mock drafts can give us a good sense of who is on the NBA’s radar. For Villanova, all eyes will be on Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges. Currently, the operating assumption is that both are about to play their final season on the Main Line.
And lo and behold, both players are showing up on various mock drafts (which currently are only projecting the first round.
DraftExpress has updated theirs just yet (last update late May), but Bridges is slotted in the first round at #29. Our own SB Nation pals are the most bullish on Bridges, projecting him at #19. The Big Lead is high on him too at #23 overall while Bleacher Report has him at #27. Bridges age and measurables make him a tantalizing NBA prospect.
Jalen Brunson appears headed for a similar arc to Josh Hart. This is finally his team and his alone, and he’s likely in for a monster season. CBS currently has Brunson going #28 (the age-old tradition of projecting Villanova players to the Spurs!), and a borderline first round grade for Brunson feels right. Like Hart, he’s (mostly) a finished product and a highly efficient and fundamentally sound prospect. A good team will snap him up.
I’m sure we’ll continue to see mock drafts over the coming days and throughout next season. They’re generally fun to look at, but it appears as if right now Jay Wright may have a couple of extra scholarships to work with after next season.